What do flats, prefolds and fitteds have in common? They all need a waterproof cover. If you use them without a cover you will soon have a mess on your hands (or the car seat, or your mother-in-law’s carpet, or the doctor’s rug).
The neat thing about a diapering system that involves covers is that often you can use a single cover throughout the whole day. You can wipe out any pee that gets on the cover and if there is no escaping poop that soils it then you can use it over and over again. And, if you’re like me and love to coordinate baby’s diaper with her outfit, there is no better choice!
Covers come in several makes and models … varieties, that is. Here is a rundown on the three basic types:
- PUL: Also known by its full name, polyurethane laminate, this is one of the most widely used materials in cloth diapering. It is a synthetic material that is totally waterproof, thin, stretchable and durable. It can withstand years of washing and use if cared for properly. In covers, this material is usually all it is made of (plus snaps or aplix and edging). Some of the more popular brands are Thirsties, which come in snaps or aplix as well as a whole slew of colors (Willow is sporting a Thirsties Duo Wrap above); Bummis, which come in many cute prints; and Flip covers, which are made by the folks who make BumGenius diapers.
- Fleece: Fleece covers or soakers are another option. Fleece, by its inherent nature, repels wetness — when you wash a fleece cover or soaker it’s practically dry when you remove it from the washer. Fleece does suffer from compression wetness, meaning that if your baby is sitting in a wet diaper for hours (like in a car seat on a long trip) then it may cause some of the wetness to escape. Fleece is super soft, super comfortable and if you opt for a soaker instead of a cover then you don’t have to mess with snaps or aplix. Many WAHMs (work-at-home mamas) make fleece soakers — that is where we got this beautiful one Willow is wearing below.
- Wool: Wool is a third option. It is generally a little more costly than the others but once it’s been prepped it doesn’t even need to be washed with every use unless it’s overtly dirty. It’s natural, breathable, soft, comfortable, super absorbent and ideal for babies.